WEEK 2: Discovering Schubert Month

Dear Pianists,

I hope that your Schubert journeys so far have led you through beautiful phrases and vigorous dances! Below, you can find the Week 2 thread, where you may post your video or audio updates.

Week 1's questions were:

  • Piece you are working on:
  • One passage you are satisfied with:
  • One passage you are not yet satisfied with:

This week, Let's change up the questions! Here are three more for you to consider:

  • How would you describe the character of your piece?
  • What pianistic tools do you use to convey that character?
  • What do you notice about the piece when you play it that you don't when you just listen to it?

Feel free to answer any of this, or last week's, prompts in your responses.

I can't wait to learn about your progress. I love watching your videos and listening to your recordings... I  hope that you also experience satisfaction in your improvement.

What does that satisfaction feel like, for you?

 

If you're new to the Schubert gathering this week, welcome! You may find the guidelines for participation in the Rules and FAQ thread. 

See you in the thread, 🎹

Hilda

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    • CK
    • br0wn
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Since it’s month of Schubert. I am using this opportunity to learn as much as I could.

    Last week had submitted the valse sentimental Op.50 No.13. As for this week, just learnt and recorded for the Moment Musicals Op.94 No.3. This is the piece which I always wish to learn when I was very young. Not too sure what’s the reason, I always unable to learn the piece for the past decades. Decided to learn this few days ago, and got it done recorded. Knowing that still got lots of improvement especially I felt that the left hand accompaniment not light enough, and having some difficulty for the right hand when reaching the forte part.

    Like 7
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Brother Will Green thanks again. Have a good day. 

      Like
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike most welcome. Good to know that you learn it before. 

      Like
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      CK This is beautiful. Both this selection and the Valse Sentimentale are pieces that are real audience-pleasers, and you are wise to have them in your repertoire. 

      Like 1
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady thanks. As these were the only I have encountered when I was young 😭. Only now I could played it after so many years 🥺

      Like
    • CK well done, great to have learned this in such a short amount of time!

      Like
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      CK Very well played, CK!

      Like
    • Grace
    • Grace
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I'm continuing my re-memorization of Impromptu Op. 90 No. 4 at a section that is easily forgetful. 

    I enjoy playing the subordinate melody as the eighth notes are a break from the sixteenth notes. 

    As I play it, I imagine the sixteenth notes in the right hand are fluttering butterflies while the left hand is some small ground animal like a puppy or a squirrel bounding about below the butterflies.

    When I get to the trio, I don't know what to imagine other than some change in the weather conditions. The chords are not all correctly remembered.

    I'm thinking these Impromptus being improvisations are not necessarily meant to be memorized and played rote.

    • Grace very beautiful 

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      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Grace Lovely job!  I totally enjoyed the flavor of charming little puppies and squirrels that your balance out beautifully with the more serious middle section.  

      Like
  • Op 90, No. 1. I worked on page 3 and 4 today. I got lost a couple of times in the music. I hope to eventually memorize it. 
    This piece has many moods. I can’t easily describe it. It has some light and some dark. The dark is drawing down into something ominous. Then there are sweet and romantic parts. 
    Strange: I got a “copyright claim” label on my video. Has anyone else had that happen to them?
    https://youtu.be/2YvprCKPFo8

    Like 6
    • Susan Rogers Thank you Susan.  I have never uploaded to Youtube but I shall start to experiment and will let you know if I receive any copyright messages.

      Like 2
    • Susan Rogers your left hand sings really nicely - beautiful music

      Like 2
    • Roy James-Pike thank you. I have not been able to see which entity that the copyright claim is protecting. I think I need to go to the computer - I tried on my iPad to follow YouTube’s instructions as to how to view where the claim is coming from, but it did not work. It is more of a curiosity for me than anything. Apparently the claim is made in order to protect the copyright should I try to monetize my video - which there is no danger of me doing that! 😂 it’s hard enough for me to bring myself to post my sketchy/unpolished playing to a practice group! 

      Like 1
    • Andrea Buckland thank you! I’ve been working on bringing the melody out when it’s in the left hand. It’s especially tricky in one particular measure which has chords in both hands.  

      Like 2
    • Susan Rogers Beautiful! :)

      Like 2
    • Brother Will Green thank you! :)

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Susan Rogers Beautiful voicing! 

      Like
  • I have just discovered that I didn't write anything in Week 1, whereas my memory tells me that I did.  So, 

     

    Week 1 Questions

    Piece you are working on: I am revisiting Sechzehn Deutsche Tanze und zwei Ecossaisen, Nos 7 and 15.  I played many of these many years ago - I estimate around 12 of the waltzes and both Ecossaisen.  

     

    One passage you are satisfied with: This is the toughest issue.  I am never really satisfied with anything.  This doesn't apply just to music.  I think all creatives have addictive personalities.  We have simply found addictions that are good for us not self-destructive.  However, I love the energy in the fzs at Bars 9 - 11 of No 7  and I am quite pleased with the grace notes at Bar 4 of No 15  

     

    One passage you are not yet satisfied with: I am making the fingering of Bar 4 of No 7 more complicated than it needs to be.  This never used to be a problem so trying to analyse the cause is frustrating.  There is a similar fingering issue at Bars 5 & 6 of No 15, where I have played with the 'wrong' fingering, which was clumsy but worked, and now trying to change to the more correct fingering causes a hiatus.

     

    Week 2 Questions
     

    How would you describe the character of your piece? I have chosen two very different waltzes.  No 7 is in B flat Major.  It is said that Schubert thought all music had the propensity of sadness but only bar 12 leans towards sadness [but doesn't arise].  The waltz form in Schubert is more grounded, which is typified by Waltz no 7, than either of the two later waltz forms: the Viennese waltz, which is danced much faster [one in a bar],or the Slow Waltz, which is often called the English waltz.  The main beat of the English Waltz is Beat 2, which is stretched by dancers as this is where the rise happens.  I love No 15 because the dotted crotchet is moving towards the later Slow Waltz in its lilt between beats 2 and 3.  It's arguably way ahead of its time.    
     

    What pianistic tools do you use to convey that character? No 7 has the interesting marking 'mit erhobener Dampfung', which could imply that all the other waltzes do not have pedal, or [rather] that the pedalling in this waltz is fuller than usual.  I still have my original piano score where my teacher wrote in the pedalling.  She included the upbeat of No 7 so that 3, 2 and are all pedalled in one pedal, whereas I depress the pedal on 3 lightly and then on 1 again, lightly.  I try to use the pedal lightly on 2- 3 and pedal on 1 separately, whereas the pedalling from my teacher has Bars 4 and 7 pedalled throughout.  I catch myself out playing more fully than I think should be done.  The markings are always difficult to interpret as my instincts say that they should be relative so, say, the fzs of NO 7 Bars 9-11 should be understated, but again, I enjoy the fullness of those chords, so they are probably louder than they ought to be.   I use the soft pedal in the pp of No 15.  I try to resist playing the forte of bars 12-13 too loudly, but it's so much fun not to just let go here.
     

    What do you notice about the piece when you play it that you don't when you just listen to it?

    I do not think I have heard these waltzes played so, note-to-self for week 3, google and listen to them being played, although the Valses Sentimentales are a kindred spirit, and played beautifully by other TB students. 

     

    We have done a lot on TB recently on recording and editing, which has been very useful.  I hear what others say about getting over the nerves of playing in public or to others, but I still prefer to hold off doing so.  I want to at least reduce the unevenness in tempo due to finding the notes, as opposed to intentional rubato. This is my personal preference and not a generic statement.

    I think I come lose the flow of the music in some places because I am playing more from memory than I think is the case.  I get stuck when my memory fails.  I then look at the music and realise that I don't even know where I am in it and have to find my place! 

    My first step in addressing the above and recording will be to organise being able to record myself and then take it from there, which is a personal challenge for Week 3.  

     

    Like 3
      • Hilda HuangTeam
      • Concert Pianist and tonebase Piano Community Lead
      • Hilda
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike I appreciate reading your reflections. They're very diverse in content and show me that you have a deep relationship between what you are trying to go for and how you'd like to do it. I picked up in your answers to the week 1 questions that you feel a bit of frustration - never feeling satisfied, for example - or overcomplicating the fingering. what is your practice regimen like? do you ever take time away from the piano to look over your music and consider your fingering, or your ideas in sound?

      Like 3
    • Hilda Sorry Hilda, I have only just seen this as the alerts to your Week 2 and 3 responses arrived a couple of days ago at the same time.  I did not do enough technical work at the piano many years ago.  I am at one with my scales at the moment.  My practice regime is set out in my practice diary and there is a distinct focus on trying to have a more secure techique.  Point taken - I do need to look at the music away from the piano and work out the chords and voices, and how to transition those chords, voices, and dynamics.  I use hard-copies of the music so I shall experiment with photocopying the pieces and then making additional notes on the text. Thank you. 

      Like
  • I’d like to return to Schubert Impromptu No 4 Op 90 which I left off 3 years ago.

     

    Character of the piece - the piece appeals to me for its child-like innocent quality in the 1st section with its almost a.pure crystalline sound. This then leads to a more brooding and questioning trio section, which then resolves in a kind of musical ecstasy, before returning to the 1st section.

    Pianistic tools used - I think of the broken triads as a peal of bells, that needs to be played evenly in a sparking way. I found the most comfortable way of approaching this is to hover my RH low and move it laterally down the keyboard and play from the knuckles. No wrist motion used. Also remind myself to voice the top notes of the descending chords. Then  the final set of broken triads, I should try to play with a pulling brush stroke for lightness.

    Like 5
    • Ching Lee Goh Beautiful!! Love this Impromptu :)

      Like
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ching Lee Goh Gorgeous musicality and such a lovely light, dancing feel!

      Like
    • Michael
    • mpetnuch
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I am still working in the first movement. There are some rough places that I am trying to smooth out. It is getting there but my control of the dynamics is still lacking. I still find the opening so problematic with its wide spread. I feel like I cannot figure out how to making a convincing start.

     

    I have also began playing the second movement. Technically it is a bit easier but trades that off with extra difficult in the voicing. I wanted to get that down a bit more before I post an update with that. So for this week I and just showing a redo of the fist movement.

     

    How would you describe the character of your piece?

    All three movements have a very different character. But to me the first piece portray a young boy falling in love for the first time. During the moment he vascilates between the excitement and fear.


    The second part of the first movement  because the approach towards expressing his feelings to the girl he is infatuated with. The final octave runs is his getting the courage to approach the girl.

     

    The next part with its imitation is their initial encounter. It is the dialogue between the two.

     

    We then get the recapitulation of the first this. However This time it is expanded with octaves. To

    me this represents both of the singing in tandem about their mutual feelings each other.

     

    When the triplet section is reintroduced the asking/fear is replaced with a major key and this time feels optimistic. I feel as if the the second knocking is replaced this time with the woman’s response.

     

    The movement closes with a feeling of peace.

     

    What pianistic tools do you use to convey that character?

    I try to do this with my voicing  but I clearly need more work to make it convincing.

     

    What do you notice about the piece when you play it that you don't when you just listen to it? 

     

    I feel like I notice more when I listen. I am still not relaxed enough when I play to convey all the feeling I was to express.

    Like 10
    • Michael Very good. Very expressive. Nice playing.

      Like 1
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